Hours after the Supreme Court restored the elected government’s powers in Delhi, the Arvind Kejriwal government decided to reverse the 2016 order by the then Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on declaring the LG as the supreme transfer authority.
This was after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met his cabinet at his house on Wednesday. Kejriwal’s deputy, Manish Sisodia, issued a new order making the chief minister as the ‘approving authority’ on the transfers of IAS, DANICS, All India Services Officers, equivalent officers of Central Civil Services/ Provincial Civil Services.
Sisodia himself will be the approving authority of all Grade 1 DASS, Grade II DASS, Pr. Private Secretary and Private Secretary rank officers.
According to the 2016 order, the LG was the approving authority on the transfers of IAS, DANICS, All India Services Officers, equivalent officers of Central Civil Services/ Provincial Civil Services. The chief secretary was made the transfer authority on all Grade 1 DASS, Grade II DASS, Pr. Private Secretary and Private Secretary rank officers.
The elected government had no say in the matters of transfer of even the junior most staff in the Delhi government.
A constitutional bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday had said that the Lt Governor could not refer all matters to the President adding the LG could not act independently unless where the Constitution allows. LG cannot be an obstructionist.
This verdict in a way also rejected the ruling of the High Court, which had declared the LG as the boss of Delhi in 2016.
Chief Justice Misra also said that the ‘popular will of people can’t be allowed to lose’ adding that ‘Under Article 239 AA, govt has some power to make laws in state list.’ According to LiveLaw, CJI Misra, Justice AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan unanimously said that the decision of the elected government Delhi has to be respected and LG should act as an aide and advisor of the state government.
Reacting to the development, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “A big victory for the people of Delhi…a big victory for democracy.”
Here are the key highlights of the order as flashed by LiveLaw:
- LG can’t interfere in every matter. He should interfere only in an exceptional matter to balance the Constitutional Federal structure
- Popular will of people can’t be allowed to lose : CJI
- Under Article 239 AA, govt has some power to make laws in state list : CJI
- Executive power of GNCT, which is elected by people, is required some degree of independence: CJI Misra
- The Constitution of India mandates a federal balance between the State and the Centre, Centre shall not usurp powers on areas within the dominion of state: SC
- The opinion and decision of the elected government has to be respected. But the constitution does not provide that LG to concur all decisions of govt: Justice Bhushan
- Interpretation of Const provision should be based on the need of time : J Bhushan